Laub, Ferdinand

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Laub, Ferdinand

Laub, Ferdinand, eminent Czech violinist and composer; b. Prague, Jan. 19, 1832; d. Gries, near Bozen, Tirol, March 18, 1875. A child of great precocity, he studied violin with his father and made his first public appearance when he was 6. He then studied with Morie Mildner at the Prague Cons. (1843–6). He toured Austria and Germany (from 1846), then studied counterpoint with Sechter in Vienna, where he was soloist in the orch. of the Theater an der Wien (1848–50). He subsequently performed in London, Berlin, Paris, and St. Petersburg before serving as Konzertmeister in Weimar (1853–55). He then was prof, of violin at Berlin’s Stern Cons. (1855–57), and also chamber virtuoso to the Prussian court (1856–58). He founded a series of chamber music concerts in Berlin (1858–62) and Vienna (1862–66), then went to Russia, where he attained great distinction as a performer and teacher. He was made a prof, of violin at the Moscow Cons. (1866), but ill health compelled him to return in 1874 to his homeland, where he made his last appearance that same year. He was held in great esteem by his contemporaries; his repertoire extended from Bach to the masters of his own day. He composed several brilliant virtuoso pieces for his instrument, and also some vocal music. His son, Vâsa (Vaclav) Laub (b. Berlin, Dec. 31, 1857; d. Khabarovsk, Nov. 23, 1911), was a choirmaster, piano teacher, and composer. He studied with his father in Moscow and later in Prague with Karel Bendi (1875), and wrote orch. music, choruses, piano pieces, and songs.


L. Ginzburg, F. L. (Moscow and Leningrad, 1951); B. èich, F. L. (Prague, 1951).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire